Scout House Approaching 75th Anniversary In 2013
As Preston Scout House Alumni Band, of Cambridge, Ontario, approaches the 75th anniversary of its founding in 1938, it is still emphasizing the spirit of community service that has been a hallmark of the organization for the past seven decades.
This sense of duty to the community dates back to the early years, when the Band would march from street to street in Preston to perform songs for people confined to their homes by illness. Residents only had to contact Band director Wilf Blum to arrange the special concerts, which took place on a designated day each month.
Scout House Alumni Band still supports local organizations, community events and other organizations in the drum and bugle corps community.
One of the highlights of the Band’s performance schedule is the annual indoor arena Spring Opening concert, with free admission, as a way of saying thank you for community support throughout the year. This year’s Spring Opening will be held in Preston Memorial Auditorium on April 29.
Scout House also participates in a number of high profile community events at no cost to organizers, including the big July 1 Canada Day parade, downtown business festivals, Remembrance Day services each November, the Cambridge Christmas parade and special events at Royal Canadian Legion branches in the area.
The Band is making a special effort this year to extend support to the drum and bugle corps community. These projects include:
*lending horns to organizers planning a reunion of the Durham Girls drum and bugle corps, Canadian national champions in the 1950s. The Durham group plans to march with Scout House in Durham’s annual Homecoming Parade in August and play the alumni standard You’ll Never Walk Alone together with Scout House.
*helping organizers of a massive reunion of five former corps in Sarnia, Ontario publicize the June event. The support given the group’s publicity campaign resulted in extensive coverage in drum corps publications and the Sarnia Observer newspaper.
*making financial donations to area schools and other organizations in support of music programs. Scout House Band is incorporated as a non-profit organization and returns a portion of donated funds back to the community each year. Among other gifts, Scout House recently donated $500 to help support Burlington Teen Tour Band travel costs to Hawaii to participate in events marking the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.
*hosting a “Black Thursday” pub night as a salute to the Guelph Royalaires and one of their popular social events. Black Thursday, to be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 333 Speedsville Road in Cambridge on Thursday April 5, will feature vintage drum corps videos on large screen TV and plenty of opportunity to socialize. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. The Knights of Columbus Hall is the Band’s winter indoor rehearsal facility.
*performing every year since 1999 at the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS) annual reunion, the popular social event for alumni corps members and others from across the United States and Canada. During this year’s GAS reunion in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Scout House will provide entertainment by the Silver Leaves brass ensemble, a percussion ensemble and the drill team, whose members wear the vintage uniform including tight black shorts, knee-high socks and black Aussie hats.
*supporting the efforts of the recently formed Ontario chapter of the Small Drum Corps Association (SDCA) to make marching music opportunities available to young people in the area and across southern Ontario, particularly those interested in learning how play drums.
Cambridge and area residents will enjoy a preview of the 2012 Scout House field show music when the Band performs during the Ventures indoor colour guard show on Saturday, March 24 at Preston High School, the second year in a row that Scout House has offered its support to the Ventures winter guard activities.
The Band’s first outdoor field show of 2012 will take place in Buckhannon, West Virginia during that community’s annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, May 19. The parade and evening field show will be Scout House Band’s first performance in West Virginia.
Scout House will remain on its winter practice routine for a few more weeks, with Sunday afternoon instruction for brass and percussion. Colour guard sessions are held Tuesday evenings. The April practice schedule will include two Sunday rehearsals in Preston Memorial Auditorium to prepare for the Spring Opening show and two Wednesday evening practices in Cambridge’s soccer dome to prepare for the field show in West Virginia.
In mid May, the schedule switches to outdoor field show practices on Thursday evenings at Cambridge Centre Mall. Many area residents enjoy the drill practices as free weekly concerts, bringing lawn chairs and choosing their sideline location before practice even begins.
For more information about Preston Scout House Alumni Band’s practice and performance schedule throughout 2012, contact Activities Director Nancy Weiler at telephone (519) 653-3376, email prestonscouthouseband [dot] adm [at] sympatico [dot] ca or visit the Web site at http://www.scouthouseband.com/